Araqi Lama'āt    (Divine Flashes)   

Lesson 22

The Glass Cage


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The precondition for being a Lover is to love & befriend whatsoever the Beloved loves. The Lover loves the Beloved’s want, be it Bu’d (Distance) or Firāq (Separation) and more than often the Beloved wishes the Bu’d (Distance) & Firāq (Separation) for the Lover. Whereat the Lover seeks sanctuary within the Loving from the Beloved’s Jafā (Brusque Antipathy), and the Ishārat (Paradigm hinting) towards this: “The fiery sting of the whip herds the people from Allah towards Allah” [1]. Alas! Love that Beloved from a distance and surrender unconditionally to the Firāq (Separation):

I desire reuniting and It demands abandonment
Alas! Forsaking what I want for Its requirement

Intrinsically the Lover does not like Firāq (Separation), but ‘Beloved’ means It is loved and whatsoever Beloved does is loved as well (by the Lover) [2]. The miserable Lover what else can he do other than:

Do embark upon the Firāq or upon the Wisāl
Devoid of either, since for I Your love suffice

(Wisāl in Arabic means reunion especially communion for lovers, Firāq is Arabic for Separation usually used for lovers in poems.)

Therefore the Lover should even love the Firāq (Separation) more than the Wisāl (Communion in love) and Bu’d (Distance) preferred over the Qorb (Nearness), because the Lover knows these are what the Beloved wants and the essence of Its Bu’d (Distance) is far nearer than (his) Qorb (Nearness) and Its Hajr (Abandonment) more beneficial than (his) Wisāl (Communion in love) [3]. In other words in yearning for Qorb (Nearness) & Wisāl (Communion in love) we are indeed seeking what we desire, but suffering from Its Bu’d (Distance) & Firāq (Separation) we are in compliance with Beloved’s want:

The abandonment that is the want of the Beloved
Compared to reunion one thousand times better


Indeed seeking the reunion I am a slave to my Self so willingly
Though during the abandonment a friend to my helper so intimately

And busying for my Beloved’s sake ever so increasingly
Definitely this is better than focus on my Self momentarily
Imagine there was a Lover that was also a beloved (i.e. everyone loved him), if this Lover prefers Bu’d (Distance) is because loves the beloved (wants to be away from everyone to be near to the beloved in this case himself) and this is the extreme limit of Wisāl (Communion in love) deep within the essence of the Bu’d (Distance) and not everyone can comprehend this concept. Know that the causes for the Bu’d (Distance) are the characteristics & attributes of the Lover and these attributes are the individualization & particularization of the Beloved based upon: “I am his hearing & seeing[4]. Beyond doubt the statement “I seek refuge to You from myself" expresses so that you understand:

Finally that I clasped hard at Its gown
Saw Its hand within the sleeve of mine

How could this be? “No count for the praises upon You, due to the way You have praised Your Self”. (How could I praise you in any significant manner since for eternities You have already praised Your Self?)



Dervish you are that hawk trapped behind the glass cage! Arrogant you are spreading wings to hunt for that Beloved, foolish you are tracking back the Divine Light thinking few flutters of your wings shall find your Divine Prey.

Fly as fast as hard and as high as you can, soon shall crash against the impenetrable glass barrier. Dervish you are persistent so fly and fly again. Each time nothing ventured save the bruised wings and the broken will. The euphoria of the capricious flights and the pain of each crash are what is called: The Loving!

Dervish you know the resplendence of that Divine Beloved only lucent from beyond the glass barrier. Dervish you know that your flights shall take you to no place. And Dervish you know that everything precious must be caged. Dervish you are no more than a bird trapped in a glass cage:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of Its Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in GLASS” (Koran [24:35]).

Fly and follow the Light and you shall eventually reach the Glass of the Lamp…

Special thanks to Janice for providing the picture, indeed so timely and so relevant.

[1] “From Allah towards Allah”: I have lost someone or something very dear. Indeed my heart is now filled with anguish sorrow and feelings of loss. This happened to me by the power & decree of Allah. So now my heart tumbles like a dice from one face to other and then seeks refuge to Allah for caress and help. So it is not that we go from one Allah to another Allah, it is that our heart tumbles and changes. Had the heart was not there we would have stuck in the first emotion we ever had and never felt or believed anything new. Note that the Sufis use the term Beloved’s antipathy, to indicate that Sufi does not see these torments of the life as an angry God’s wrath, instead they see them as the loss & pain of a lover with his/her Beloved.

[2] In the Awwal (Primordial) Beginning prior to all the other beginnings, there was only a Singleton Beloved and none else. The reason we are called the lovers is not because we are the ones with the affection for that Divine Beloved, but because It was/is/will be Beloved. So the word lover is an extract from this Beloved not the other way around.

[3] (his) indicates in the text that the lover when sets out to find the Beloved that is HIS arrogance causing him to move. That Sanctified Beloved is searchlessly unreachable. So Araqi says the tormenting distance is better than our false & fake seeking of the Beloved, since even if we find anything at the end of our search, for sure is not that Sought-After Beloved! 

[4] “I am his hearing & seeing” comes from the Hadith (Prophet Narration) Qudsi #25:

“…When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks...”   

Araqi makes an attempt to explain this narration. If the Beloved loves a man, It takes over his senses which is the term “the individualization & particularization” in the text, and once that happens the lover is torn to pieces. One piece, the Beloved has come close to and the other piece the lover finds disgusting i.e. his Self that loves for it to be afar. Because the closer the lover is to his Self further away from the Beloved.

That Divine Beloved is in love with Itself. Mankind understands that well. So a lover loves to be so distanced from his Divine Beloved simply knowing: that the Divine Beloved is in love with Itself and allows no one coming close to Itself. And since the Lover loves the Beloved then respects this wish of It.

Are these contradictory for you? Fine! In the Realm of Divine Love there is no room for human logic & rationalization. The ‘reasoning’ is for our daily affairs to ease the sustaining of our life on this earth. 

© 2004-2002,   Dara O. Shayda